A PLANNING application is being prepared to develop the old Stourport Sixth Form Centre into new homes to pay for urgent repair works at Stourport High School.

A public consultation has been launched to gather residents' views on plans to build up to 100 new homes on the burnt out sixth form and surrounding green belt land, which is owned by the Severn Academies Education Trust (SAET).

But residents are concerned the current plans, which include access from Coniston Crescent, would cause "gridlock" and "utter chaos" on the residential street - a popular walking route for schoolchildren from the nearby Burlish Park Primary School.

Resident Glenys Bishop said: "We knew the site was highlighted in the Local Plan with access from the Kingsway, but these new plans are proposing the only access off Coniston Crescent - that's a minor estate road.

"When Burlish Park Primary School was built, Coniston Crescent was deemed unsuitable and unsafe to take the site traffic so the developers had to take access off Windermere Way.

"This plan is a much bigger development and it's already difficult for us to get in and out of the junction at school times. Lorries already have to mount the pavement to get past.

"The roads just couldn't cope with it. It would cause utter chaos."

Neighbours attended an exhibition held by the school's property consultants Harris Lamb on March 29, and have since sent out letters outlining their concerns to surrounding residents ahead of the consultation deadline on Friday, April 12.

SAET first announced in 2016 its plans to sell the land to generate the money required for "significant repair works" to Stourport High School's main buildings.

In a document sent out to residents this month, the Trust said: "The school has commissioned a series of surveys into the condition of the various buildings on site and these have revealed that a substantial amount of money needs to be spent on the buildings due to their condition. The school has, therefore, been exploring ways to generate the money required for this repair work.

"Various grant funding opportunities have been pursued, the majority of which have been successful. The grants available are not, however, sufficient to cover the cost of the repairs. The school has been put in the position where it needs to seek an alternative source of funding for the essential repair works.

"Following this review the school has reached the decision that the only realistic way to generate the funds required for the works is to secure a residential planning permission on surplus land."

The proposed site includes the old Sixth Form Centre - formerly Burlish Middle School - and some playing pitch land.

SAET says the development would have a "minimal" impact on the Windermere Way junction with Minster Road.

As well as funding repairs, the money made from the sale of the site would be spent on enhancing the school's sports provision with the construction of a 3G all-weather pitch.

David Knott, director of operations at SAET, said the current development plans are "not set in stone" and that residents' views would be considered before a planning application is submitted to Wyre Forest District Council.

Comments can be sent to caron.walsh@harrislamb.com before April 12.